The Rev. Al Sharpton's inflammatory rhetoric regarding the shooting of Michael Brown is toxic to both blacks and whites and makes it harder for the nation to heal, says Andrew Klavan, an acclaimed mystery novelist and political commentator for PJ Media.
"These lies poison the lives of black people by making them feel helpless and oppressed when indeed, in fact they're not," Klavan said Tuesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"But they also poison the minds of white people who see this kind of stuff going on, who feel lied about, who feel that they've made retribution for the past, a past most of us weren't even alive for and now we're beginning to feel abused."
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At the funeral of Brown — the African American teen whose fatally shooting by a white police officer sparked more than a week of rioting in Ferguson, Mo. — Sharpton, a civil-rights activist and MSNBC host, told mourners:
"Michael Brown wants to be remembered for making America deal with how we are going to police in the United States. We are required in his name to change the country ...
"America is going to have to come to terms with [the fact] there’s something wrong, that we have money to give military equipment to police forces but we don’t have money for training, and money for public education and money to train our children."
But what happened in Ferguson is not about race, according to Klavan.
"All sides have to dump the race narrative entirely. What we have is dysfunction in poor communities that has existed since industrialized poverty has existed," Klavan said.
"It existed in the Irish community in Great Britain, it existed in the Jewish community in Russian Pale [of Settlement].
"It's a non-racial thing that has to be corrected through education and family and stronger families and free market capitalism, it's the only thing that's going to solve it."
Klavan, a two-time Edgar Award-winning novelist — called the United States the least racist country in the world.
"It is a country with a lot of racial problems because we have more races put together in closer proximity than any country since ancient Rome," he said.
"But that's a measure of our tolerance and the problems that grow out of it are a measure of our open heartedness and our welcoming of all kinds of different people."
Klavan said even Sharpton has had to admit that there are other issues involved in the Ferguson tragedy.
"Al Sharpton has been one of the worst offenders in racial divisiveness and the lies and this narrative pollution and yet even he, even he was forced to get up at the funeral and say that some of this is a question of dysfunction in the black community,'' he said.
"And when even Al Sharpton even at that funeral has to say that then it seems to me the message is beginning to bleed through."
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